Sunday, July 31, 2011

VB6 to C# (CSharp) - The Journey Begins!

As a long time Visual Basic 6 (VB6) developer, I have put off transitioning from VB6 to C# (C Sharp) until now. Now seems to be the right time to make the gradual transition to C# due to my need for a true multi-core programming solution and the feeling that it's just time to update my skills. This blog will chronicle my journey.

As a VB6 user, why have I chosen to learn C# and not VB.NET? After evaluating the .NET framework and learning that VB.NET really is a totally different language, and that VB.NET does not have the ability to write unmanaged code I started looking at C#. I've been reading the Windows API documentation for years and as a result have some familiarity with C. I have also done some work in a couple of C-like scripting languages, including MQL4 for Metatrader. I really like the tight, compact syntax of C, but also like having a managed environment, which rules out C++. The quirkiness of C++ is also a turn off. I also felt that learning C# would be a better way to round out my development skill set and to make myself more marketable. Since I already know VB6, after learning the ins and outs of C#, I feel it will be fairly straightforward to code in VB.NET if need be.

I consider my VB6 level of proficiency to be expert (modesty). I regularly use Windows APIs to enhance the speed and capability of VB6. I don't write my own type libraries or anything crazy like that, but I have found that there are few problems that can't be solved with VB6. That being said, since starting this journey learning C#, my eyes have been opened to how VB6 is really a subset of a full or complete programming language. I won't call it a toy programming language but perhaps a dwarf is a more accurate term. That being said, I still enjoy coding in VB6 and plan to make use of both technologies, while upgrading new development to C#.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope we both learn something!